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The Cotton Ball Diet and Other Dieting Tricks You Should Never Try for Weight Loss

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Diets not to try

When it comes to dieting there is no single foolproof diet trick that works for everyone. And because of this, many dieters are open to trying just about ANYTHING to find that one special diet trick that just might result in their eventual weight loss success. But did you know that there are some diet tricks that persist that are more dangerous than they are effective? Here is a sampling of extreme diets that U.S. News & World Report recently advised dieters not to try.


Diet Trick #1: The Tapeworm Diet

Believe it or not, this one is still eating away at dieters who are desperate to lose weight. How this diet trick reportedly works is that after swallowing down a bolus of tapeworm in a can, the tapeworms make a home out of your gut by attaching to the inner lining of the intestine. Once there, they essentially starve their host (meaning you, the dieter) by stealing the nutrients from your digested food.

U.S. News & World Report tells us that according to Keith Ayoob, an associate clinical professor of pediatrics who specializes in weight loss at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, “…there's no free lunch with tapeworms. Tapeworms are parasites, and you want them out of your gut, not in it. Tapeworms can also cause unpleasant side effects, including abdominal cramps, diarrhea and fatigue, and if they stay in your system, all those calories they're eating make them grow―sometimes into an intestinal blockage."

In fact, if you have been experiencing some unexplainable weight loss with fatigue, you could have unintentionally contracted tapeworms or other parasites. If so, then here is some Dr. Oz advice on what to look for when you suspect you have a parasite inside you.

Diet Trick #2: The Ear Staple Diet

Now, not only can you make a fashion statement with a new type of hardware on your skin, but some believe that it will help you will lose weight as well. Based on the premise of acupuncture, ear stapling for weight loss is essentially applying surgical staples or body jewelry on pressure points in your ear that are believed to suppress your appetite and help you eat less.

However, according to the Mayo Clinic, there's no evidence that the procedure―while relatively harmless except for an increased risk of a serious infection or snagging your ear on something and tearing the tissue―is effective for weight loss.

Diet Trick #3: The Cabbage Soup Diet

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Essentially, the cabbage soup diet is just one of many fad food diets that promise if you eat primarily this one thing all the time, then you will lose weight quickly. According to the rules of the cabbage soup diet, you will lose 10 pounds easily in one week if all of your meals (with the exception of occasional supplementing with some fruit and/or other vegetables) consist of cabbage soup.

According to U.S. News & World Report writer Amir Khan, you will lose 10 pounds, but not the 10 pounds you want to lose he points out by quoting Dr. Ayoob as stating, “This is a bad idea. It only lasts seven days and maximizes water loss, not fat loss. It’s not sustainable and it's low in protein, so you'll lose some muscle mass during the week you're on it, no question about it.”

Diet Trick #4: The Cotton Ball Diet

This diet trick is definitely a bad idea. According to U.S. News & World Report, some dieters try to suppress their appetite by filling their gut with non-digestible objects such as cotton balls soaked in juice or a flavored smoothie. Although non-digestible and expected to pass through the digestive system, cotton balls are hazardous when applied in ways not intended by manufacturers.

“This diet can be called the bleached, polyester fiber, chemical diet too, because that is what most cotton balls are made of, and that is what you will be eating,” warns Dr. Nina Eng, chief clinical dietitian at Plainview Hospital in New York. “Besides causing malnutrition, because there are no nutrients in cotton balls, this diet could cause choking or may lead to an intestinal blockage or obstruction.”

For more about bad dieting tricks for weight loss, here are 5 "OMG" diets you should never try.

For one dieting trick that according to some recent reader testimonials claim has worked for them, check out this lose 15 pounds in 1 week with the 5 bite diet plan article.

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Reference: U.S. News & World Report “5 Extreme Diets You Shouldn't Try” by Amir Khan